This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is not currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for Less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, Informatics environments, knowledge management, records managemen at the following levels: Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian, Branch Manager. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:
I have five years of combined public and academic (both university and community college level) library experience, and am currently obtaining my MLIS, as it is a (painfully reinforced) professional ceiling.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Livable wage/reasonable salary with room for advancement.
Engaged, supportive staff environment where innovation, exploration, and collaboration are encouraged at all levels.
Opportunities for continuing education; awareness of organization’s place in greater network of the profession.
Where do you look for open positions?
CLIR jobs list, local institutions’ websites, ALA Joblist, various listservs.
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
Depends on the application/institution. I tend to tweak the master copy of my resume to better reflect the specifics in a job posting. A few hours, usually over coffee or lunch to stay relaxed and focused.
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Intimidating list of qualifications and requirements, list of salary and benefits, ease of access and understanding of online applications. Simply accept a resume instead of reiterating resume information in feilds; eliminate the copy and paste syndrome!
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
It helps (and hurts!) a lot to get rejection notices so the applicant can brush herself off and move on.
I like the idea of being taken out to lunch, but this has never been my experience.
Less paperwork, if possible.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
There is no secret. You keep your skills sharp, develop your talent deeply, work hard, keep your resume up to date and flexible, and nail the interviews. Compete. Believe in yourself.
For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses.
Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!